The Pulse, Richmond’s new bus rapid transit system, is off to a good start. On Monday, the first weekday of service, GRTC Pulse counted 8,669 riders, far exceeding the daily weekday goal of 3,500, reports the transit company.
First-week performance at mass-transit roll-outs benefit from media attention and, in the case of the GRTC, free rides. The trick is to maintain the momentum when the hooplah dies down and the novelty wears off.
The other measure of success is the level of re-development along the Broad Street corridor. A top goal for Pulse is to stimulate construction of mixed-use projects that generate higher property and sales tax revenues while encouraging ridership on the bus line. City Council has put the right zoning in place, and there seems to be no limit to the appetite of homeowners, businesses and retailers for walkable neighborhoods with access to mass transit. Here’s hoping that Richmond’s $65 million gamble pays off!